When I lie, it is automatic. I don’t think about it–although it is coming straight from my brain. My mouth opens and out it comes and I then have the chore of living with it, embellishing it (you thought the truth was embellished, but nothing compares to the embellishments a lie requires), reframing it, exposing it–maybe, destroying, and hardest of all, remembering it. My ability to do this feels psychopathic, except I believe you are the same way and enough of you are the same way that we either agree this is how lying goes, or we agree to all be psychopaths. I am good with either.
Since I was a boy I found that I could manufacture safety, or what I made up was safety, by having a secret world. The secret world, oddly enough, contained truth or some semblance of it and the fence around the truth, was lies. I could not afford to tell you the truth. This distorted truth I hid was that I was unworthy of you knowing me, loving me. It was shame. I don’t know why. The world I made up for you was a lie to protect the something awful inside me. I can still do this, or more truthfully: I still do this, lie to protect the something inside. The problem with these fences is that they must be walls, of concrete. No one can get in even a little or else the lie is exposed and the mural of me I paint on the wall of lies for you to believe is me, is no longer quite right. These kinds of fences do not make good neighbors. They make lonely boys who will never be men. Lying is complicated. The truth is not easy, but it is simple.
At the top of this blog’s homepage is this line:
the record of a surgeon’s unlikely journey from his curious mind to his wayward heart...
As I look at it now I know that my heart has been wandering, possibly wayward but probably not. It has been looking for me. It is a short trip from my head, which is so bent on unnecessary and overwrought and ego-based protection of me (my sad shame) to my heart. And here is what I have learned: when I am nestled into my heart I can’t lie. My truth, the person I truly am, resides in my heart. When I am telling you my feelings from this odd, weird, non-anatomical part of me called my heart, I am telling you the truth. I don’t lie there. I become (I became!) a man there. I find my heart with practice, with help, with help, with help. It is a thin yellow line across the concrete walls of shame.
In yoga (I am an expert now), there are poses that bring the heart to the fore, that teach me to lead with my heart, to look for places where it is right to lead with my heart– Cobra pose or Upward Facing Dog–seriously? When I am leading with my heart I am in the truth and I line up with my integrity. My brain then roams free, mingles with beauty and becomes an amazing playground. When I speak from my heart, my voice is level, clear, clean, strong and not in need of you to prop me up, make me ok; but is also not alone. It is seeking you to help me in this amazing and challenging work of becoming my real person.